FINALLY I can start planning and getting excited. I have saved a significant amount of money, which I believe should be sufficient for all my needs here, but am admittedly nervous that it may not work out for long enough that I run out of money, and then have to find other solutions. STILL, it is best to not think about this, as I still have almost a year of trying before that happens, if it happens at all.
I have been to my follow ups with the doctor and counsellor, and met the nurse who will actually do the IUI procedure.
The main thing I took from the doctor’s appointment was that I am healthy and fit enough, and if I eat healthily and avoid alcohol and limit caffeine it should all hopefully go smoothly.
One cool thing that happened was that he did a pelvic ultrasound, and I happened to be mid ovulation (or rather, just before) – I got to see my follicle just before it released its egg – it was enormous and very cool. It seemed to actually be a similar size to that of my ovary!
I need to not take sumatriptan for my migraines (I knew that already) and avoid herbal teas with raspberry leaf in them (I knew that too – I think it is an abortifacient). Also, avoid excessive heat (e.g. saunas or spa pools).
He said my chances of conception were about 10-18% per cycle; probably 15%.
The sperm are washed and counted and checked for health before being inserted – apparently some countries don’t do this by rote, and poor quality sperm is sometimes used there, so this was a relief to hear.
The counsellor basically told me similar stuff to the last counsellor, but this time I got a copy of the form that the donors fill out out. They don’t have to fill everything out, but if they do there is a lot of information in there to choose from, so hopefully the donors I get to pick from (there will be at least 3 of them) care enough about the process to give as much data to me as possible.
She is also finding out for me what goes on the birth certificate instead of the father’s name in these situations.
The next steps for me are to:
- Get a blood test for progesterone levels in the days after ovulation (day 24; happening tomorrow)
- Get a cervical smear and some specific swabs done at my GP’s office (happening the day after tomorrow)
- Get another blood test for infections etc that might make pregnancy difficult (e.g. rubella, HIV, etc) on day 2-3 of my next cycle (in about a week’s time)
- CHOOSE MY DONOR – I have to drive in to the Greenlane Fertility Associates office and choose on-site between the 3 or so donors they have provided for me. This is INCREDIBLY EXCITING. I am nervous, though, that the donors will not meet my high expected standards. I just have to keep reminding myself that a lot of a baby’s outcomes are more dependent on nurture rather than nature – i.e. how you treat yourself during pregnancy, how you raise the child, etc. Genetics do play a small part, but not really in the important things (aside from diseases, but they are screened for as much as possible). This will happen in about 2 weeks’ time
Once I have chosen my donor and had those tests done, I will start treatment at the beginning of my next menstrual cycle – I will call them on day 1 (the first morning I wake up bleeding), and then they bill me as soon after that for the whole procedure. Then on day 10, they start daily or every-second-day blood test to measure my hormones – when they spike, it means I am ovulating that day, and I need to go in for the IUI procedure that afternoon.
So:treatment will all be starting in May! Just over 2 years after joining the list.
The sperm-donation law really needs to be changed to something more like they have in the EU – with anonymity permitted and donors being paid. I think this would definitely increase donation, so they might even be able to decrease the backlog and have waiting times of less than a year! Wouldn’t that be nice. I am thinking about talking to MPs or whoever need to be talked to about changing the law somehow.
I understand completely why people may not feel comfortable donating, though – it is time consuming and probably a frustrating experience to go through.
I will try to keep this blog up to date, now that I have started and the machine is grinding into gear.
This is SO EXCITING you guys!
UPDATE 8 June 2016
I was reading through these old posts last night, and realised that I seemed to imply that the only reason not to donate is that it is time consuming and frustrating. While these are both completely valid reasons not to donate, I totally know that there are other HUGELY valid reasons not to donate, for example: not wanting to continue your genetic line for whatever reason, not wanting the anxiety and pressure of potentially being contacted by genetic offspring out of the blue in 18 years, and of course just feeling weird about there being kids out there who are part of you but who you don’t know.
This last reason is pretty much why I am unlikely to ever donate eggs (besides the fact that I am too old for it now) – I want kids SO MUCH that the thought of ‘my’ kids being out there and not being a part of my life is just too much.
So, dear Reader: I understand completely if you don’t want to donate – all reasons are (obviously) valid reasons not to do such a huge thing. I just don’t know if it even crosses most people’s mind (except in jest), unless they know someone going through either donating or receiving donor gametes.